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If you come across as someone who has immigrant intent, meaning someone who wants to settle down in the U.S. (or a foreign country), they will most likely reject your visa.

How to Avoid

By default, the consular officer will assume that your intent is to settle down abroad. The burden of proof is on you to display nonimmigrant intent by proving that your visit is temporary in nature. Boston Universityโ€™s ISSO says,*

The way you can try to prove your non-immigrant intent is by giving the Consular officer documents that indicate that you have strong ties to your country. The stronger your financial, employment or family ties to your country, the more likely it is that the Consular officer will believe that you intend to return home.

Breaking that down into more detail, you need to show evidence of one or more of the following:

  • Financial ties in the form of property owned or investments made in the home country. Note that you cannot show the same documents that you used to show sufficient funds.

  • Employment ties in the form of a letter from your current or prospective employer stating that you will join after your studies.

  • Familial ties in the form of documents proving your relationship to your family along with their proof of residence.

  • Immigration history showing that you have travelled abroad before, and returned back to your home country.

The above might sound like overkill, and in many cases simply stating that you plan to return back to your home country might be enough. However, given that this is one of the top reasons a visa gets rejected, we strongly recommend being safe rather than sorry.

โ€‹dangerโ€‹ Showing the above becomes more critical if one or more of the following is true: one or more members of your family live in the U.S. or are permanent residents, your financial sponsor lives in the U.S., you are married and applying for an F2 visa for your spouse or children, this is your first trip to the U.S., or you have been denied a U.S. visa before.

Aside from those two, here are a few more reasons for denial:*

Late Application

If you apply for your visa after the specified program start date on your I-20, they might reject your visa. To avoid this, ensure that you apply for your visa at least eight weeks before your programโ€™s start date.

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